Tongan farmers receive support from PACER Plus

8 Feb 2023

The PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) handed over 1,000 harvesting crates to Tonga's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests (MAFF) on Wednesday, 8 February. These harvesting crates will assist Tongan farmers by minimizing post-harvest damage and loss of produce harvested for export.

"I'm happy to see the PACER Plus Implementation Unit team meeting the farmers and supporting the Tongan agricultural sector. I want to continue to grow the volume of my produce and this support will assist me and other farmers in doing that. I look forward to continued talanoa with the Implementation Unit on how to help me grow my business," said Tevita Tapaivalu, one of many Tongan farmers present at the handover.

MAFF CEO, Dr Viliami Manu, raised the importance of supporting farmers as the agricultural industry in the island kingdom has been severely impacted by COVID-19 as well as the volcanic eruption and tsunami in 2022.

"This support comes at a critical time for our farmers. As a party to the PACER Plus agreement, Tonga is pleased to receive these benefits that will support our agricultural sector," said Dr Manu.

PACER Plus is a regional development-centered trade and investment agreement aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Agreement is designed to support Pacific Island countries to stimulate economic growth by becoming more active partners in, and benefit from, regional and global trade.

Ten countries are currently parties to the Agreement: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.


Image Caption: Hon. Lord Fohe (right), Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Forests in Tonga receives 1,000 harvest bins from Roy Lagolago, Head of the PACER Plus Implementation Unit.